Pros and cons of constant drip?

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toffee

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Oct 30, 2005
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I am planning a 125g fresh water tank, and debating the merit of setting up a constant drip system. My water company use chlorine.

My random thoughts:
  1. Dripping at 1 gal per hour, that's 24 gal per day, 5 days 120g.
  2. I would be wasting or using 120g x 6 = 720g of water every month? A normal shower takes 18g. that is like taking an extra shower? I can put a timer, so I could cut it down to say half or even less.
  3. However, the second new water enters tank, wouldn't part of it leaves with the drain? So after say a month, wouldn't some 'old' water remains?
  4. Chlorine normally takes a day to gas out? in my case, at 24g per day, would a chlorine filter be essential? I have no problem in installing one.
  5. Any known cons on constant drip? Is it a waste of time and water?
Any help would be appreciated.
 
Apr 2, 2002
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First of all, no tank I have ever had holds the volume of water the tank is sized at. For one, nobody fills a tank to the absolute top. Next most of us add substrate and often wood and rocks. We may have plants (real or fake) and some sort of other decor. So it is a good bet that your tank volume is not 125 gals. I have a 125 and I consider it holds about 105 gals maybe a a couple more.

Next. the drip return and the overflow can be at opposite ends of a tank. So the chlorine will have the highest concentration around the return and be more diluted near the overflow. What would worry me is if the water company does a larger chlorine does for some reason and you do not know it is coming your way. I can offer two solutions.

One is to get a liquid doser that will small amounts of dechlor at preset intervals during the day. The other solution is more costly. Pre-batch the water in a large container and dechlor it. Then pump it from there.
https://jehmco.com/html/water_storage_tanks.html

Finally, you can do not treatment and hope that the very low level of chlorine coming in will be so diluted by the tank water and then evaporated somewhat all day long such that it may not be a threat.
 
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FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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Joel
Sorry if I missed it elsewhere, but what are your plans for this tank?

Why would you need to do 6 full volume water changes per month?

Most of us do one weekly water change @ ~50-75% of what water is in the tank.
 

toffee

AC Members
Oct 30, 2005
51
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Sorry if I missed it elsewhere, but what are your plans for this tank?

Why would you need to do 6 full volume water changes per month?

Most of us do one weekly water change @ ~50-75% of what water is in the tank.
Great points!!, I am using this calculator ( Effective Water Change Calculator (hamzasreef.com) ), and got this data:

6g/day - 42g/week - in 30 days 26g original water left. 42g is like a 35% weekly water change
5g/day - 35g/week - in 30 days 33g original water left.

I am debating if I want to discus tank, but probably go for a angelfish instead of discus:
The last time I had discus was decades ago, I have other tanks since, from arowana, severum, African cichlids, planted tank with small dishes, just haven't touch discus in those decades. This is what I am planning to do, please feel free to critique and pick my plans apart, the objective is to enjoy the fishes, not to spawn them:

1. My water company use chlorine, water are not overly hard with ph around 7.6-7.8
2. I want a planted tank of 120g (72" x 20" x 24"), glass.
3. Filtration by two foam filter driven by air pumps.
4. A continuous drip with inline chorine filter. Will use 2g/hour irrigation emitter, with timer at 3hours per day. @6g per day, according this calculator, at the end of the week, 26 gal of original water still in the tank, 6 g/day is 42 g per week. I will, however, pipe the discharged water to a plastic drum and use to water the garden.
5. Tank will have small black gravel as substrate, I like thick substate, so how about 6"?
6. I have no decided on lighting, but have decided on using CO2.
7. Tank decor: driftwood, and biggish rocks.
8. Plants: not decided yet. any suggestions?
9. Heating, in summer, my house will keep at a constant 78F, winter about 70F, I like to keep the tank at 78-80F.
10. Discus, ideally about 4 to 6 of them, max 8 but probably 6.
11. Tankmates: 8 cory, 4 SAE, 4-6 ottos,
12. Dithers, quite undecided, love to use zebra danio but can they handle 80F? I think platy will have the same problem?

OK, I am assuming discus do not handle changes in water parameter well, folks do daily water change instead of week to avoid a big sudden changes? I am hoping to use a daily drip of 12 gallons of fresh water to keep the water parameter fairly constant. Although I would prefer to do just 8g per day or 56g/week, roughly 50% of that 120g.
 

FreshyFresh

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Jan 11, 2013
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West Falls NY
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Great points!!, I am using this calculator ( Effective Water Change Calculator (hamzasreef.com) ), and got this data:

6g/day - 42g/week - in 30 days 26g original water left. 42g is like a 35% weekly water change
5g/day - 35g/week - in 30 days 33g original water left.

I am debating if I want to discus tank, but probably go for a angelfish instead of discus:
Like you say, it totally depends on what you keep. If it's a very low bio load, a 35% WWC could be fine. If you're up to the task of setting up and dialing in a drip system, that sounds great too.

I'm sure you know the drill, but the main thing is setting up your tank in a location that water changes are as easy as possible to get hoses in and out of the tank.
 
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